Fate of Iraqi Political Prisoners Unknown
Iraqi organizations and notables in London have called on the Iraqi government to account for what they claim are tens of thousands of political prisoners. These were supposed to have been released in the general amnesty bestowed during the past week, but they were not. (Reported by Asharq al-Awsat).
Thousands of university professors, Shi`ite clerics, Kurds, Iraqis of Iranian extraction, and dissidents have disappeared in Iraq since 1980, especially during the uprisings of March, 1991, in the wake of the Gulf War.
The call for a full accounting of the ‘disappeared’ and imprisoned was launched by Muhammad Bahr al-`Ulum and `Alam al-Din in London. Iraqi expatriates also addressed appeals to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to ensure that Security Council Resolution 688 requiring the Iraqi regime to ensure human rights for its citizens be implemented.
The odiousness of the Saddam Hussein regime and the fact that it has killed or imprisoned so many are among the things that make it hard for me to take a strong stand against the idea of regime change.
In other Iraq news, President Bush said in Mexico City that he is willing to go to war with Iraq without a mandate from the UN Security Council.
Earth to George: This would be a Very Bad Idea.